For over a decade, Cristian Ronaldo has been the single most celebrated footballer in the world. He’s won a whopping 26 trophies, including five associated league titles, five UEFA Championship League titles, and a UEFA European Championship. He currently holds the record for most goals scored in Europe’s top-five league, and is already considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Given these impressive achievements, it should come as no surprise that Ronaldo, 33, is a very wealthy athlete. He has, however, recently expressed displeasure over his salary with Real Madrid, causing many to question whether he plans to transfer to another another club when he gets the chance.
Here’s what you need to know about Ronaldo’s contract and his salary:
1. He’s the Second-Highest Paid Footballer In the World
Many fans were surprised when Ronaldo was listed as the second highest-paid footballer in 2017. According to Forbes, he was bested by Lionel Messi, who brought in a staggering $111 million between his $84 million salary and his various endorsement deals. Ronaldo narrowly missed the top spot with $108 million, which has reportedly driven his desire to increase his current salary with Real Madrid.
The Mirror reports that Ronaldo is is seeking a contract that will see him earn a similar amount to Messi at FC Barcelona. The rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi is one of the most famous in all of sports, as fans have gone back-and-forth over who is the better footballer. Messi has downplayed the rivalry in interviews, saying that its played up by journalists, but Ronaldo has been more blunt about who he feels is the best.
“Sometimes the comparisons with Messi make me tired”, he told CNN. “For him too because they compare us together all the time. Some people say I’m better, other people say it’s him, but at the end of the day, they’re going to decide who is the best player. At the moment … I think it is me.”
2. He Earns $400K Per Week on His Current Salary
Ronaldo signed an enormous contract with Real Madrid in 2016, one that guaranteed he would be paid $365K a week (it was later increased to $400K). “This is a special day for me, extending my links with this club, the club of my heart”, he said after signing.”Renewing for five years is very special and let it be clear that this is not the last contract. I want to keep making history and I’m sure that in the next five years I will keep scoring goals and winning trophies with the best club in the world.”
Ronaldo also said that he wanted to “finish” his career with Real Madrid, and that he wanted the 2016 signing to be his penultimate contract. “I did not expect these figures in such a short time”, he revealed.
“But it comes from a lot of work from me and from the team. I want to keep making history. Five years is a long time but I want to go on learning and winning… I think I have got 10 years left.”
That same year, Ronaldo’s management company published a document that broke down the specifics of his contract with Real Madrid. The document revealed that the footballer made an estimated $36.25 per minute, an estimated $2,175 per hour, and an estimated $52,200 per day. That means that Ronaldo takes home a whopping $19 million per year.
3. He’s Currently Being Charged for Tax Evasion
Ronaldo was charged with tax evasion and fraud, after it was reported that he funneled income related to image rights through a series of offshore companies. According to El Pais, Ronaldo understated his revenue between 2011 and 2014, and that the amount he reported was $12.87 million US, when it should have been closer to $48.15 million US.
Ronaldo declined to comment on the charges, aside from an interview he had with Bloomberg, where he said: “There are a lot of innocent people in jail and I feel a bit like that. You know you didn’t do anything wrong, and they say you did something wrong.”
The tax authority has demanded full payment by June 15th, which happens to be the same day that Portugal plays Spain in its first game of the World Cup. Forbes reports that Ronaldo has offered settlements to avoid having to go to trial, including an offer of $4.4 million in March and an offer of $16.25 million in May, but both have been rejected by the Spanish government.
The four counts that Ronaldo has been charged with would carry a total custodial sentence of under two years, according to AS English, which means that under Spanish Law, he would not have to go to prison (he has no prior convictions). In June, Euro Weekly claimed that Ronaldo will end up paying a settlement of $22.4 million US, which will square all of his government debts.
4. He Has Several Endorsement Deals & Private Businesses
In addition to his salary, Ronaldo profits from several high-profile endorsements. In 2015, he signed a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, making him only the third athlete in history to do so, behind Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The deal was worth an estimated $1 billion, but according to Hookit, a site that measures social media value for brands, it has been more than worth it for Nike.
“Cristiano is one of the top influencers on the planet”, said Hookit co-founder Scott Tilton. “[He] has effectively leveraged his social media following and engagement into a media powerhouse to drive tremendous value for his sponsors.” Hookit states that Ronaldo’s social media presence generated a staggering $474 boost for Nike within 12 months. A single Instagram post made by Ronaldo in 2016 generated $5.8 million, just because it bore Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan as a hashtag.
Ronaldo has also used his fame to promote his own brands. His company CR7 initially started out as an underwear line, but has since evolved to include other clothing and leisure products like cologne.
Ronaldo also owns the CR7 Fitness gyms throughout the U.S. and the CR7 hotel chain, which currently has locations in Lisbon and in Funchal. In January 2018, Sport24 reported that the footballer has plans to expand his chain to include locations in Marrakech, Madrid, and New York.
5. He’s Reportedly ‘Angry’ With Real Madrid’s Contract Offer
Ronaldo’s legal issues, mixed with his desire to earn more than Lionel Messi, has caused some friction between him and Real Madrid in recent months. Marca reporter John Sanchez told Bleacher Report that Ronaldo is “very angry” and “absolutely disgusted” with the latest contract that Madrid has offered him, as it is not significantly better than the one he received for the 2016-17 season.
Express reports that Madrid has offered Ronaldo a contract of $34 million US a year, but that the footballer has insisted on a massive salary on $75 million US. He’s hinted at possibly leaving the team if his demands are met. Paris Saint-Germain has already announced that that they will pay him $53 million US if he were to transfer from Real Madrid.
Real Madrid have reportedly declined to make any additional contract offers, meaning that Ronaldo will be forced to decide whether he wants to stay with Real Madrid for less money or transfer elsewhere to get the paycheck he desires.
When asked about the contract dispute, the footballer said: ‘In the coming days there will be answer about my future. It has been very nice playing for Real Madrid. In the next few days I will give an answer. Now we have to enjoy the moment. The future of any player is not important.”